Boost your protein levels with these 5 vegan recipes

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Aug 9 2017 - 10:43pm

Making sure your protein intake is optimal, if you are vegan, can be easy and delicious. Below are 5 vegan recipes to boost your protein levels and maintain optimal health.

spinach vegan protein

Studies have found that increased plant protein in diet reduces risk of death, and its importance in the human body has been well documented, for example: Protein, when broken down into amino acids, they are used as precursors to nucleic acid, co-enzymes, hormones, immune response, cellular repair, and other molecules essential for life. Additionally, protein is needed to form blood cells.

Therefore, to boost your protein levels or maintaining an adequate consumption of vegan protein will only offer health benefits. Some of the vegan sources of protein have been reported to be: all types of beans, quinoa, spinach, lentils and nut butter. Below are 5 vegan recipes using these ingredients.

1) spinach and artichoke soufflé

ingredients

2 vegan, ready made pie crusts
1, 6 ounce jar artichoke hearts in water
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 c fresh spinach
1 block extra firm tofu
juice of half a lemon
1/4 c brown rice flour
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1-2 tsp onion powder
salt/pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil

method

Preheat oven to 350F. Take dough out of freezer and let thaw to room temperature.

While thats thawing start making the filling
Chop up your veggies except artichoke hearts and spinach.

Place onions, pepper and garlic in a large skillet or fry pan and cook until onions and peppers are translucent. About 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon of water if it starts to stick. Add in spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted then remove from heat.

Place in a food processor and pulse just until chopped not pureed. Remove from processor and place chopped veggies in large bowl and set aside.

In the same processor place tofu, lemon juice, brown rice flour, nutritional yeast, acv, onion powder, salt and pepper and run until completely smooth and creamy.

Add into large bowl with veggies and mix until well combined.

Cut thawed dough into 4 pieces and roll into balls. Roll dough out flat then mold to ramekins letting it fall over the sides.

Fill each ramekin with spinach and artichoke mixture about 3/4 of the cup. Fold sides over the top not covering completely. Brush tops with extra virgin olive oil and bake for 35 minutes.

2) Lentil dip

Ingredients

lentils

1 cup (192 g) dry green lentils, well rinsed, pebbles/debris removed
2 cups (480 ml) water
Sea salt and black pepper to taste (~1/4 tsp each)
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp olive oil

shallot + garlic

1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced (~40 g)
2 large cloves garlic, minced (1.5 Tbsp, 9 g)

sauce

1/3 cup (80 g) hummus (DIY or store-bought)
3 Tbsp (45 g) tahini
3 Tbsp (~10 g) fresh dill, chopped (or 2 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice (~1 lemon)
Water to thin

garnish/ optional

Fresh chopped parsley
Pita chips* or crackers
Vegetables
Chopped kalamata olives
Baked sweet potato

Method

Add lentils and water to a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat. Then reduce heat to medium/medium-low, or until a mild simmer is achieved.

Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until most liquid is absorbed and the lentils are tender and not mushy, or 'al dente.' (Mine only took about 18 minutes.

Strain to remove any remaining water, then return lentils to saucepan off heat. Season with salt and pepper, maple syrup, lemon juice, and olive oil. Stir to coat. Sample and adjust seasonings as needed. You want them to be flavorful on their own, and not bland, so don't be shy.

While lentils are cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil and shallots and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Then add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more, or until just lightly golden brown. Remove from heat but leave in skillet.

To prepare sauce, add hummus, tahini, dill, maple syrup, and lemon juice to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Then thin with hot water until slightly thick but pourable (see photo). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Add cooked, seasoned lentils to the skillet with the garlic and shallot. Add sauce and stir to combine.

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Serve immediately, garnished with fresh parsley or dill, pita chips or crackers, or vegetables (optional). Best when fresh, though leftovers keep stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. While this makes a great appetizer or snack dip, it would also be delicious over a baked sweet potato or salad for more of a meal.

3) tuscan bean stew

ingredients

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